Socialist backed to return Edinburgh to Labour
PARTY MEMBERS in Edinburgh Northern and Leith showed their confidence in Gordon Munro when they selected him to stand again as their Westminster candidate in the next general election. Nominated by Unite, CWU, Unison and GMB, and supported by Momentum and the Campaign for Socialism, he demonstrated broad support across the party as a whole which was confirmed by members in a decisive result.
Munro, chosen by the Scottish Executive Committee to stand in the constituency in the 2017 snap election, came within 1,625 votes of the SNP’s incumbent MP Deidre Brock, slashing her 2015 majority of 5,597. The other two candidates this time were Marion Donaldson, councillor for Leith Walk ward, and Frances Hoole, the co-chair of Edinburgh Northern and Leith CLP who also leans left and is well respected across the party locally.
Momentum Edinburgh activists worked hard for Gordon, who has been an unabashed socialist for the entirety of his time in the party, and a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, having nominated him in 2015. Every member in the constituency was called at least once, and the hard work was rewarded when the final result was announced: Gordon Munro 122; Marion Donaldson 34; Frances Hoole 8.
At the packed selection meeting members asked unsurprising questions on Scottish independence, and on Brexit. A couple of curveballs were thrown in on social mobility beyond everyone attending university and on beating Ruth Davidson should she decide to stand. The very first question on making politics more accessible to disabled people was not answered well by any candidate, demonstrating the important work that must continue in this area. Encouragingly, when asked, all candidates committed themselves to putting themselves forward for voluntary reselection next time, should they be selected and win the seat.
Over the next few months Scottish Labour are selecting candidates for the 20 most marginal Westminster seats in Scotland, ahead of any potential snap election, and to make sure members and candidates are on a campaign footing.
In Edinburgh only two seats appear on that list. In the other seat, Edinburgh East, the selection process is also underway using an all women shortlist. Three candidates have come forward: Sheila Gilmore, the Progress-aligned solicitor who held the seat last for Labour before losing it to the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard; Joyce Nichol, chair of Edinburgh Pentland CLP; and Lezley Cameron, councillor for Liberton Gilmerton ward. Momentum Edinburgh is yet to decide who to back.